Aubergine parmigiana or melanzane parmigiana is one of the best recipes for getting the most out of your aubergines. The thinly sliced and pan fried aubergines are layered with a rich tomato sauce and freshly grated parmesan for a dish that is bursting with Italian flavour. Serve this simple aubergine parmigiana recipe as it is, or pad it out with an extra layer of cooked spaghetti added to the base of the baking dish.
2large aubergines(600g sliced length ways and half a cm thick)
Few pinches of salt
For the sauce:
1Clovegarlic finely chopped
1Large onion diced(150g)
690gjar of Passata
For the topping:
6medium tomatoes sliced(300g)
30gBreadcrumbs(or gluten free breadcrumbs)
50ggrated parmesan(or vegetarian parmesan)
100gbuffalo mozzarella roughly torn
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Preparing the aubergine:
Place a large pan on a medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and allow to heat up. When the oil is hot carefully add the aubergine slices and fry on each side until golden brown. You will need to fry these off in batches as only 3 or 4 slices will fit in the pan at any one time. You can add more oil as required and season each batch with a bit of salt.
After each batch of aubergine has finished cooking carefully remove from the pan and leave to drain on a plate lined with kitchen towel.
Preparing the aubergine parmigiana sauce:
Place a large pan on a medium heat (use same pan from previous step to save on washing up) then add half a tablespoon of oil and the finely chopped garlic. Fry for 10 seconds then add the diced onion and fry until soft. Next add a teaspoon of dried oregano and mix well.
Next pour in a large 690g jar of passata and stir into the cooked onions
Season with black pepper and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Putting together the aubergine parmigiana:
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan).
For this next step you will need a medium sized square or rectangular baking dish. I used a 20x24cm rectangular dish.
Begin by placing a layer of cooked aubergine in the based of the dish.
Then add a layer of the tomato sauce and sprinkle over 1-2 tablespoons of grated parmesan, continue to layer like this until all the aubergine, sauce and parmesan has been used.
Finish with a final layer of sliced tomatoes.
Then top with breadcrumbs, parmesan and torn pieces of mozzarella.
Place the baking dish in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the mozzarella has turned golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
Remove from the oven, top with fresh basil leaves and serve.
Can you freeze Aubergine Parmigiana?
For best results freeze the aubergine parmigiana without baking it. Once the parmigiana is layered up in an oven proof dish, allow to fully cool then seal with a lid or cling film and place in the freezer. When ready to eat remove from the freezer and defrost fully then bake at 180 degrees (fan) for 30 minutes or until piping hot throughout.
Can I prepare aubergine Parmigiana in advance?
If preparing in advanced once you have made up the parmigiana in the baking dish it can be placed in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. As the dish will now be chilled, add an extra 10 minutes to the baking time.
What else can you do with Aubergines?
One of the most simple and satisfying recipes for aubergine is baked aubergine and feta cheese. I love to serve this as starter at a dinner party. To make this delicious starter you will need one aubergine per person. Start by scoring the skin with a knife in four places along the length of the aubergine then rub oil all over the skin. Then place on a baking tray and bake at 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the skin is charred. Cool and then peel off the skin (the scoring should help with this). With the stem still in place slice the peeled aubergine in half with the top end held together by the stem still. In a small dish mix together olive oil, chopped parsley and chopped garlic then drizzle over the aubergine. Finally crumble over some feta cheese and serve. I also love to use aubergine to make my meat and leek pies with aubergine pastry - These are proper Italian pies!